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What is Forest Schools?

"Our cross-curricular approach fosters a love of nature enabling our children to make meaningful links with their learning whilst Christian Values are explicitly taught and embedded in school life."

We have a commitment to outdoor learning here at Sproatley. Every child, from EYFS to Year 6, accesses regular forest school sessions throughout the year within curriculum time.

We have a commitment to outdoor learning here at Sproatley. Every child, from EYFS to Year 6, accesses regular Forest School sessions throughout the year within curriculum time. Mrs Pepper, our Forest Schools specialist, has many years of experience promoting outdoor learning and it has proven to be one of our most popular activities with the children!

Forest Schools is a holistic way of learning, meaning that it's a whole child way of learning covering social, physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual and character building for each child. There are opportunities to take risks and learn in settings with wider boundaries. Enthusiasm and dedication by professionally qualified staff fires the imagination of each individual to have a sense of awe and wonder of the natural world and achievement in their own skills.The value of the natural environment is beneficial for sustaining good mental health within our very busy world.

The children are encouraged to investigate & explore but also to respect all living things. Children learn best from first-hand experiences. Exploring and learning using a range of activities (both designed by the leader and instigated by the children themselves)with no expectations attached, is what forest schools are all about. Building a sense of independence, high self-esteem and teamwork are important parts of Forest Schools, but health and safety considerations are always of paramount importance.

We value outdoor learning and Forest Schools very highly at Sproatley. The benefits on children's mental health and wellbeing cannot be understated, making Forest Schools and the use of outdoor spaces a high priority at our school.

You can find more information on the link between children's mental health and wellbeing, and Forest Schools here:

Thriving With Nature - A Guide For Everyone

Mind - Nature and Mental Health

Goals and Achievements

"Through our Christian values and our commitment to outdoor learning and pupil wellbeing, we aim to unlock a natural curiosity for knowledge and skills with enhanced opportunities to engage and inspire learning and recognise individuality."

Forest School has a developmental ethos shared by thousands of trained practitioners around the world, who are constantly developing their learning styles and skills to support new and imaginative learners. Its roots reach back to the open-air culture, friluftsliv, or free air life, seen as a way of life in Scandinavia where Forest School began. It arrived in the UK in 1993 and has grown from strength to strength since then.

The process helps and facilitates more than knowledge-gathering, it helps learners develop socially, emotionally, spiritually, physically and intellectually. It creates a safe, non-judgmental nurturing environment for learners to flourish when allowed to indulge in new things and take risks. Forest School inspires a deep and meaningful connection to the world and an understanding of how a learner fits within it.

Our approach to risk means that learners constantly expand on their abilities by solving real-world issues, building self-belief and resilience and learn about risks and how to evaluate them. We believe that risk is more than just potential for physical harm, but a more holistic thing, there are risks in everything we do, and we grow by overcoming them. Forest School therefore, helps participants to become, healthy, resilient, creative and independent learners.

Forest Schools is my favourite lesson because...

" is fun and I like to be in nature."

"...I can choose skill I want to work on and because I can do a project."

" can climb trees."

"...we get to make things out of wood, we get to be outside and have fun but we can make anything we want."

"...I get to see lots of nature and choose my own activity."